Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Barbecue Sandwiches

Pulled Pork With Coleslaw

Diana Rattray

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 8 hrs
Total: 8 hrs 15 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Yield: 8 sandwiches
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
776 Calories
39g Fat
58g Carbs
45g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 776
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 39g 50%
Saturated Fat 14g 70%
Cholesterol 153mg 51%
Sodium 889mg 39%
Total Carbohydrate 58g 21%
Dietary Fiber 3g 10%
Total Sugars 24g
Protein 45g
Vitamin C 3mg 13%
Calcium 115mg 9%
Iron 4mg 23%
Potassium 777mg 17%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Barbecued pulled pork sandwiches, which originated in the American South, are fabulous fare for a picnic or party. This slow cooker recipe has all the elements that work well for a crowd: It is easy, it can be made ahead, and its preparation in the slow cooker needs little or no attention.

Making the pulled pork in the slow cooker is also a great option, especially on hot summer days when you don’t even want to think about turning on your oven. The meat comes out very tender, and cooking it in barbecue sauce is an easy way to give the meat the typical pulled pork flavor. 

For meat, use boneless pork shoulder. It is fattier than pork leg, and that’s exactly the reason why pork shoulder is the cut of choice for pulled pork. Cooking the meat slowly for hours makes it very tender and succulent. Once the meat is cooked, you can always remove the fatty part of the meat. As the meat cools, it is easy to skim the fat off the cooking liquid.

For the barbecue sauce, pick one that you can also serve with the sandwiches. Barbecue sauce comes in numerous variations and flavors: sweet, spicy, low sodium, no sugar added. Depending on the sauce you are using, the honey and cayenne pepper that the recipe calls for might not even be necessary. You can also make your own barbecue sauce from scratch. 

To pull the pork apart, wait until it’s cooled down enough that you won’t burn your hands. There are different methods for pulling the pork apart. If you make pulled pork often, you might want to consider investing in meat claws, but otherwise, disposable gloves or dinner forks will do just fine. 

If you make the pulled pork ahead of time, place it with the cooking liquid in a container with a tight-fitting lid and store it in the fridge. You might not need all of the liquid when serving, but keeping the meat and liquid together during storage prevents the meat from drying out.

This recipe can be easily doubled. A whole pork shoulder can weigh up to 20 pounds, the only limitation is the size of your slow cooker.


  • 1 (2 1/2- to 3-pound) boneless pork shoulder roast

  • 1 cup chopped onion

  • 1 (12-ounce) bottle barbecue sauce

  • 3 to 4 tablespoons honey

  • 1 dash cayenne pepper

  • 8 sandwich rolls

  • Coleslaw, optional

Steps to Make It

  1. Place pork shoulder roast in a lightly greased 3 1/2- to 5-quart slow cooker.

  2. Combine onion, barbecue sauce, honey, and cayenne pepper; pour over roast.

  3. Cover and cook on low setting for 7 to 9 hours.

  4. Serve on buns, topped with coleslaw if desired.